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Doing Business God's Way

Truett Cathy has answered the question "What would Jesus do?" The founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants is a successful businessman, but for many, he is even better known—and respected—for letting his faith guide his business operation. Here are a few examples:

Mr. Cathy's restaurants have been closed on Sundays since 1948. The 79-year-old CEO of the nearly 1,000 Chick-fil-A restaurants doesn't mind losing millions of dollars of business to honor the Lord's day.

At his first restaurant in 1948 he hired Eddie J. White, a 12-year-old African American. This was an unpopular choice during a time of segregation. He also mentored an orphan, Woody Faulk, since he was 13. Today Woody is vice president of product development at Chick-fil-A.

Cathy developed a successful foster home system called WinShape Homes. There are now eleven homes in the U.S. and one in Brazil. His daughter Trudy and son-in-law John were Southern Baptist missionaries at the Brazil home for ten years. His Camp WinShape and the WinShape Foundation provide scholarships for kids and college students.

One of his favorite truisms is "It's easier to build boys and girls than to mend men and women." Chick-fil-A Kids Meals don't come with promotional toys from the latest popular movie. Instead he offers Veggie-Tales books, audiocassettes of Focus on the Family's "Adventures in Odyssey," and other character-building materials.

Woody Faulk gives a good summary of Cathy's character: "A lot of people look on Truett as Santa Claus, but he's not. He'll meet you halfway so that you can learn a lesson from the process. He's the personification of James 1:22: 'Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.' I sincerely owe my life to that man."

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